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“Will Adding A 2 Inch Sleeve Make Me Respectable?”, This Video Reveals The Naked Face Of Violence

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‘Two Inch Sleeves’ features the voices of two young women from Delhi. The first is the youngest of three daughters and the first amongst her sisters to be allowed to attend a day college that involves her leaving home every day on her own to attend Delhi University. She is 19 years old. The second is 26 years old, a young mother of two and teacher in a local NGO. Both the women live in a large low-income semi-urban community in Delhi.

Regardless of the type of violence experienced or the circumstances surrounding it, most victims keep their abuse secret and never seek help. Norms that support violence can be used to justify violent behaviour and practices, excuse perpetrators’ actions and blame victims for events while trivializing or minimizing their suffering.

Understanding the norms that govern a society can provide clues to the underlying causes of violence and how it can be prevented. They are the unspoken rules that govern what is and what is not acceptable behaviour and how individuals and groups should interact. These unspoken rules also govern what is not said.

Among girls ages 15 to 19, almost one-fourth said they had been the victims of “some form of physical violence since age 15,” according to a report issued on September 4th 2014, by the United Nations’ children’s agency, UNICEF. One in 10 girls worldwide have been forced into a sexual act, and six in 10 children ages 2 to 14 are regularly beaten by parents and caregivers. They said they suffered most at the hands of the men to whom they were closest. In countries as varied as India and Zambia, for instance, more than 70 percent of girls named their current or former husbands or partners as the perpetrators of physical violence against them.

What is the key factor that stops you from reporting someone who harasses you, especially in public places in the city?

Drop your answers in the comment box below.

To know more about what I think of this video, follow me on twitter at @Akhil1490

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  1. Veda Nadendla

    The girl who speaks in the video has absolutely driven the point home. This was such an effortlessly shot video, yet so powerful. Thank you for sharing this.

    As far as your question goes. There was once that I didn’t raise my voice against something that happened. It was in a train that goes form Chennai to Vijayawada. We had booked 2nd A/C and by default our entire bogie ended up being non a/c 2nd tier which was shocking for my mum and I because we had never travelled with the windows open in a train. We took it in turns to fall asleep because we wanted to be on alert if anyone came near our luggage.

    Around 2:30 I was reading a book sitting awake in the lower side birth when out of nowhere there was a hand pressed and grabbing my breast. When I looked up, it was the husband who came with his newly wed wife, wearing red bangles and all. I screamed *What the f**k* really loudly and he just shrugged and walked off. I didn’t know if I should wake anyone up or say anything. The only reason I didn’t was because I was afraid no one would believe me. Stupid as I feel about it now, it was a genuine concern back then.

    1. Rachit

      Dear veda,

      Thank you for sharing. I don’t think you should feel stupid about the whole incident. As you pointed out, it’s a genuine concern that not only affects women but also men. We live in a society where we are not allowed to talk about such things. Where molestation, abuse, teasing is a considered to be a normal experience. But, it’s time we spoke about it and discuss about issues of gender and sexuality.

  2. Ambar

    A Shakespeare said,” The world is a stage.” I personally feel.. rather its a stage of the circus, where even the wildest of the wild in a person has been trained either through a hunter or a small candy from the very childhood. Any one who deviates from the norm is called abnormal. Therefore the wild in the girl has been trained by teachings of suppression which stops a girl to respond. This training has slowed the reflexes of response. Even if somebody wants to responds, the reflexes have been slowed down though years of training— with an intention to act normal— to the extent that even when a girl has the courage to act, due to slow reflex mechanisms the response is slow. In the mean time the situation passes away without a response.
    The idea that girls are epitome of tolerance and sacrifice should be changed.

  3. Babar

    Beauty and fashion industries have benefitted from a marketing gimmick, and earned millions of dollars after bombarding girls with images of scantily dressed women in movies, music videos, TV, magazines, billboards, etc.

  4. Rajni

    sub sirf piche se bolte hai aage bolne ki himmat kisi mai bhi nhi hai.mere hisab se koi 100 mai se ek hogi jise kisi ne molest ya abuse na kiya ho .mai khud in sab cheezo ki shikar ho chuki hu .mai 11th class mai thi aur bus mai ja rhi thi,bas mai jyaada tar school k hi bache they ,jyaada ter meri class mate .ek aadmi aaya aur usne track suit phena hua tha aur meri sit k pass aaker apna pyjaama aage se niche kiya aur jyaada ter vha khade sabhi dekh rhe they.mujhe bhut gussa aayausney apna penis mere haath per touch kiya .mai cheelai per kisi ne koi saath nhi diya .mere chillaane se vo wha se bhaag to gya .per baad mai sabne mera mazak udaaya .sharm aati hai aisi ladkiyo per jo mere saath padti thi .ager aap kuch ker nhi sakte to aapko kuch galat bolne ka bhi koi hak nhi hai.

    1. Saheb Chadha

      I feel sorry for you. Our society is sick, twisted. Hypocritical. Cowardly. It lacks empathy. We need ethical studies in schools. A whole course on ethics that will instill in students how to behave. Unless it happens to one of their own, they will never fúcking understand. I have two elder sisters, and I know how you feel. The uncivilized nature of men like these infuriates me to no end. I feel really sorry for you.
      A 16 year old guy living in New Delhi.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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